The Collectif contre l’Islamophobie en France draws our attention to the controversy over racist and Islamophobic cartoons posted on the Villeurbanne Front National blog by Stéphane Poncet, who is an FN candidate in the forthcoming elections to the National Assembly.
Marine Le Pen, who is struggling to get the 500 nominations she requires to stand in the presidential election and consequently needs to project a moderate image, has dissociated herself from Poncet, stating that she “deeply regrets” the publication of the drawings on an FN website. The party’s vice-president Louis Aliot has said that disciplinary action will be taken against Poncet.
The CCIF wonders how the FN is in a position to take such action “when Marine Le Pen herself adopts this hatred of Islam and foreigners as a founding principle of her political programme”.
In contrast to the party’s national leadership, leading figures in the local FN have defended Poncet, claiming that he is the victim of a “witch-hunt” and a “media lynching”. They have denounced the attacks on his racist caricatures as an attempt to suppress freedom of expression.
How long, we wonder, before the National Secular Society and Maryam Namazie join them?